Thursday, December 31, 2009

Auld Lang Syne


A trip down memory lane...


This is the house where I grew up. It was fun yesterday to tour Bakersfield and all the familiar places. No nostalgia, though, as the present is a happy time!

Happy 2010...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And the angel said to them...


"Fear not, for, behold,  I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people. Unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men."
                                Luke 2: 10-14

Joyeux Noel!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Simple Things


There are three things I miss about Bakersfield: Smith's Bakery, Dewar's Candy, and Wool Growers Basque restaurant. Today I received a little taste of each. One of my students has a friend visiting from Bakersfield, and she brought me Smith's happy face cookies AND Dewars' peanut butter taffy chews. Heaven in a bite... Corinne made beans and cornbread for dinner, and by golly, the seasonings mimic the beans from Wool Growers! Life is good.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Holly


Holly has an interesting history with Christmas. It was originally a plant reverenced by the Druids because it was an evergreen. Over time, Christians began to see a metaphor for Christ in the plant. The red berries represent the blood of Jesus by which mankind can be saved. The green is a symbol for eternal life. The thorniness has a double meaning: it reminds us of the crown on thorns Jesus wore at the crucifixion and it also illustrates the fact that God never promised his children a life without trials, but rather the grace and strength to endure and grow through them.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Luke 2:8-18

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."



Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,


"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."


When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

It's easy to overlook the significance of the shepherds' response to the angel's message. These men were the least educated, roughest, and lowliest of the peasants. Angelic appearances happened to the priests, if they happened at all.  Fear was certainly a first response, but bewilderment perhaps should have been a second reaction. Maybe disbelief would follow bewilderment. Modern people would probably analyze, justify, or try to explain the angels as some natural phenomena.
 
These shepherds, however, were neither bewildered nor analytical. They dropped their staffs and went directly to see the promised Messiah. That's trusting faith.
 
We don't see too many angels this day and age. God speaks clearly to us, however. He says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Those shepherds were both weary and burdened by their occupation and their place in society. The very moment they were invited to see the Promised One, they left everything to go. We never hear about them again after they leave Mary and Joseph, but we can deduce their changed lives by their reaction to Jesus: When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. (Luke 2: 17-18)
 
How easy it is to overthink God's great gift. The shepherds understood the magnificent simplicity of how the prophecies of the Messiah would be fulfilled: God became man so that man could know God.
 
I want to have the faith of those shepherds, who took God at His Word, and never looked back.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Joy!


I created the card base on my Silhouette. The paper is from The Paper Studio, and the sentiment is from The Angel Company. I used a little Dimensional Magic on the word and a couple of the stars.